Llay Llay means Viento Viento or Wind Wind
Merry Christmas! I can't wait to talk to you on Christmas Day! Hermana Santander and I are sneakily searching out the members with the fastest internet.
Hermana Santander thinks that our names are funny together as a companionship because in Spanish the letters b and v are pronounced the same. So if you take the tt off VanCott it sounds like "banco," which is bank in Spanish. Banco Santander. Santander Bank. It's a popular bank here. Maybe it's a stretch for you guys to think it's funny but everyone we talk to here thinks it's great. For the first time, people are starting to remember my name. Whatever works.
I love the Llay Llay branch so much. I love that the members love each other and really want to help each other. Our first day here people were greeting us on the street and giving us references. We hadn't even been to church yet but they recognized us as missionaries and pulled over in their cars to invite us to their houses or to activities, and best of all to direct us to where the less actives and recent converts live. I am super impressed with the members here.
A sister we ran into the very first day invited us to come and sing in a choir that they were preparing. We went to a couple of rehearsals and on Sunday we went Christmas caroling to a long list of less actives and recent converts. I can't imagine a better first week in a new sector. We got to know the members, the branch president, and they drove us around in their cars to visit all of the people that we are supposed to be visiting so now we know where they live. There are a billion recent converts in this sector. I can't even count them. Most of them are not coming to church so we know what our job is.
I play the piano in sacrament meeting. I'm actually really embarrassed about my piano playing skills because I haven't touched a piano in months and I could only play one hand, but I don't think anyone minds. Our ward mission leader is a recent convert who is preparing to serve a mission himself.
The sister who invited us to the choir, invited us to have lunch with her yesterday after church. She is the wife of one of the counselors in the branch presidency and they have three children, a boy and two girls. One of their daughters is nine and reminds me of Kiera. She made me a bracelet. Before lunch she carried around a honeydew melon which she wanted for dessert. She kept it on her chair throughout lunch, hiding it from everyone else until her dad sliced it for her.
I am in the same zone, Los Andes, but now I am in a different district. For the first time I am not in the same district as Hermana Clark (she is in the same sector with the same companion), but I still get to see her before and after district class. Hermana Santander and I are the only sisters in a district of Elders, which is weird this transfer. We have a gift exchange for Christmas this week in district class and Hermana Santander and I have no idea what to bring. Treats....
We did one intercambio this week. I went to Putaendo with Hermana Moreno, a sister from Spain who is still in her training. This is her second transfer. Her companion, Hermana Ward, was a leader in Llay Llay last cambio so she was able to help Hermana Santander navigate the sector a little.
Most of the intercambios will be in the fourth and fifth week of this transfer because there are so many holiday activities. It means that those weeks will be very tiring but this week and next week will be fun.
Tomorrow we have a meeting with the whole mission for Christmas in Santiago.
I can't wait to Skype you! That will be the best Christmas present ever! Love you!
Hermana Santander and I in Llay Llay
Intercambio in Putaendo